Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 429

"L'Europe Divisee selon l'Etendue de ses Principales Parties, et dont les points principaux sont placez sur les observations de Mesrs. de l’Academie Royale des Sciences", Desnos, Louis Charles

Subject: Europe

Period: 1761 (dated)


Color: Black & White

45.5 x 37.5 inches
115.6 x 95.3 cm

This spectacular wall map of Europe is a superb example of French decorative cartography in the eighteenth century. The detailed map is surrounded by an elaborate border made up of vignettes describing the cultures of the European regions, each accompanied by descriptive text. Lapland is represented by a great scene of whaling; Spain by a bull fight; Germany by the election of the Holy Roman Emperor; London by a cock fight and similar sporting events; and Paris as the cultural center of academia and the arts. The title is in the top border; a second title, "L'Europe. Tous les Points Principaux sont Placez sur les Observations ...", is in a cartouche at top. Early wall maps were hung in the homes and offices of the most prosperous merchants and aristocrats. Today they are very rare, as few survived due to their size and the fact that they were unprotected from the elements. Printed on four sheets and backed with linen.

Louis Charles Desnos (1725-1805) was an important instrument, globe and map maker in Paris during the eighteen century. In addition to his publishing work aimed at the French market, he also held the position of Royal Globemaker to the King of Denmark. He worked with several other publishers including Zannoni and Louis Brion de la Tour and produced a great many cartographic works including a series of decorative wall maps.


Condition: B+

Mounted on new linen. There are some faint stains throughout with light pastel used to lighten the spots. Overall in remarkable condition for a large wall map.

Estimate: $8,500 - $10,000


Closed on 2/16/2011